Ashley Routh and Vix Lothion

This summer, Green Party of England and Wales members will elect six new members of the party’s executive (GPEx). Nominations are now closed, and a full list of candidates is expected to be published tomorrow. Prior to nominations closing, at least two more candidates have announced they’ll be putting their names forward.

First of the two is Ashley Routh, who is standing to be the party’s next equality and diversity coordinator. Routh is no stranger to GPEx elections, having been part of an unsuccessful job-share ticket for chair just last year. She is is also the current co-chair of the LGBTIQA+ Greens.

Routh’s campaign is set to focus on strengthening the role of liberation groups within the party. She told Bright Green:

On Equality & Diversity Committee, we hear a wide range of issues raised by each of the liberation groups – but there is one consistent theme – that we all feel like we’ve not been heard. Inaccessible conferences, ableism in local parties, institutional racism, policy pushed forward without adequate consultation, misogyny, transphobia, ageism, inadequate commitment to animal welfare – all issues that have been raised, and all issues which have been brushed aside, or left in email limbo.

She continued,

I’m standing to be our Equality & Diversity coordinator to try and tackle these issues, to champion the right of each liberation group to be invited to speak in GPEx meetings on the issues that affect them, and to push for a higher standard of consultation on equalities policy, to ensure that glaring errors aren’t being caught at the eleventh hour.

Alongside Routh, incumbent policy development coordinator Vix Lowthion has announced that she’ll be seeking re-election. Lowthion was elected for a one year term in 2020 in a by-election triggered by a resignation. Now, she’s up for re-election for a full two year term.

Lowthion is well known among Greens for her role as the party’s education spokesperson, and for standing in the Isle of Wight constituency in multiple general elections.

Speaking on her candidacy, Lowthion explained that the party is being held back by a lack of strategy when it comes to developing policy. She told Bright Green:

My year in the post has shown me the significant challenges that are facing the holder of the Policy brief on GPEx. Not just the difficulties with supporting members, framing proposals and navigating the unwieldly policy process, but the missed opportunities which are a consequence of our lack of a comprehensive party policy strategy.

She has committed to rectifying that, arguing that – if elected – she will develop a long term policy strategy and seek to improve member participation in policy development. She said:

In June I presented a paper at GPEx to put forward the case for a 3-5 year “Policy Strategy” for the party to address the current weaknesses and develop the best quality and most transformative policies for our elected Greens, our spokespeople and our communities. If re-elected I will take this work forward to ensure that our policy development has clear identified direction and outcomes.

In addition I plan to prioritise increasing participation of members via conferences, Policy Working Groups and through expanding events such as the popular ‘Policy Fest’.

And finally to do this I will look to maximise the use of effective communication and organisation technologies to support the policy development process, including through discussion, drafting and accreditation.

According to Lowthion, addressing this is key for the electoral prospects of the party:

The energy and enthusiasm in our party for transformation and change is contagious! But we will miss the opportunities offered in this period of political and historic change if we do not offer the right policies to voters. I hope that Green members will agree and support these priorities to get the right strategies in place.

Routh and Lowthion’s announcements after other candidates had already emerged. Daniel Laycock and Lyndsay McAteer have put their name forward for local party support coordinator. Meanwhile, Alexander Sallons has announced he’s in the running for internal communications coordinator.

The full list of positions up for election this summer are:

  • Policy development coordinator
  • Equality and diversity coordinator
  • Local party support coordinator
  • Publications coordinator
  • Finance coordinator
  • Internal communications coordinator

Green Party members will be balloted in these elections in August.

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